AutoCorrecting the English Language
by Alex Garrett
So the legacy of the late technological genius Steve Jobs continued once again the last couple of weeks with the release of iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, the iWatch and iOS8. Great news for Apple and new CEO Tim Cook, as Apple sold MORE iPhone 6’s than it did iPhone 5’s by one million phones the first weekend of release. Yet, something seems to irk me about AutoCorrect.
I admit, I’m not a tech guy by any stretch, but I do find the Apple craze to be very intriguing. Especially since most of the stuff we type on these machines are more the phone’s words than OUR words. AutoCorrect of course could be found on Microsoft word as well, but there you literally have to find your mistake and, well, correct it. With this phone you don’t even think that you made a mistake until you hit that little send button and realize that Apple just corrected half your sentence.
While I understand that everybody is always on the go and has no time to think about what they just typed somebody, this can do more harm then good. For instance, miscommunication can set in quicker because the phone might correct your very thought into something unintentionally dangerous to a friendship or relationship. Earlier tonight a friend of mine texted about how a song she was listening to was not making her feel better. The phone actually turned the word “isn’t” into “is it” and so I looked like the stupid one misunderstanding her text thinking she meant to actually say “it is”. Yet it could be that the iPhone recognized that she had wanted to use “is it” instead of ‘isn’t’ on other occasions. Hence it appears the iPhone likes to think for us when really all it should be doing is facilitating a conversation and not making corrections based on prior algorithms and the like. Oh and of course making sure a phone can dial another phone, because that is what phones are primarily for.
That brings me to my next point. Sometimes it seems AutoCorrect can move different letters around. For instance, I tried to ask a friend how my work’s company cruise was. I typed in “cuirse” and AutoCorrect changed it to “cruise” for me. I pose this question though, is it possible that AutoCorrect could cause dyslexia? Have you ever noticed AutoCorrect on any phone rephrase something that you actually wanted, allowing you to say the wrong phrase in the first place unintentionally hoping the device will catch the mistake? I’ll leave that up to you the reader to answer.
I understand Apple tried to make texting easier, but underneath those funny autocorrect fails, lies real dangers.
People today use modern day shorthanded writing replacing words with simple letters. Imagine you are typing up a resume on an iPad and maybe when you text friends you replace you with “u” or and with “an” well those little typos could be AutoCorrected on that resume based on the number of times you have shortened words into one letter. How bad will that look to perspective employers? In this day in age people are in such a hurry they tend to not double-check documents as important as these and that “Ur company” can be an instant turn-off from the get go.
Disabling your AutoCorrect might get you to see that your phone continually changes what you write because it actually thinks it knows what we are thinking when it really doesn’t. I think disabling the feature will get us back to thinking about our lackadaisical spelling habits and MANUALLY correcting them, as well as manually inputting our sentence structure. Since so many text, it’s time to change our texting habits so that our actual writing habits don’t become hazardous to our work ethic in our daily lives.
PS: Since changing my setting off of AutoCorrect, I’m realizing how much misspelling I’ve done and don’t mind meticulously changing it, because sew an act, reap a habit.